Facebook advertising is an important way to connect with your audience on the world’s largest social network.
The ever-changing Facebook algorithm can make it a challenge to connect organically with fans. But Facebook’s micro-targeting features allow you to reach your exact target audience. That means Facebook ads can get your message in front of the people who are most likely to want your products or services.
That’s great for your budget, conversion rates, and return on investment. You only pay to reach the most valuable potential customers.
It’s important to understand the different Facebook ad types and targeting options before you dive in if you want to get the best results. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know, from planning your first ad to developing advanced campaign strategies.
Types of Facebook ads
These simple ads are a great way to get started with Facebook advertising. You can create one with just a few clicks by boosting an existing post with an image from your Facebook Page.
Image ads may be simple, but that doesn’t mean they have to be boring. For example, you might think socks are a pretty ho-hum product, but Happy Socks puts them in surprising contexts to create fun Facebook photo ads.
Video ads can run in News Feed and Stories, or they can appear as in-stream ads in longer Facebook videos. Video ads can show your team or your product in action, like this quick demo video ad from We Are Knitters. Your video ads don’t need to use filmed video footage. You can also create GIF-like graphics or other animations to capture attention or explain your offer, like in this ad from the New York Times.
Video poll ads
This mobile-only Facebook ad format incorporates an interactive component with video polls. It’s a brand-new type of Facebook paid advertising, but Facebook’s early data shows that these ads can increase brand awareness more effectively than regular video ads.
Slideshow ads offer an easy way to create short video ads from a collection of still photos, text, or existing video clips. If you don’t have your own images, you can choose stock photos directly from Ads Manager.
Slideshow ads have eye-catching motion, just like videos, but use five times less bandwidth, so they load well even for people on slow internet connections. They’re an easy, low-impact way to draw attention.
These Facebook paid ads, which are offered only for mobile devices, allow you to showcase five products that customers can click to buy. Collection ads pair with Instant Experiences (more on those below) to allow people to buy your products without ever leaving Facebook. This makes online shopping easy when people are on-the-go and may not have a great internet connection.
Instant Experience ads
Instant Experience ads used to be called Canvas. They’re a full-screen ad format that loads 15 times faster than a mobile website outside of Facebook, like this example from American Express.
Lead ads are only available for mobile devices because they’re specifically designed to make it easy for people to give you their contact information without a lot of typing. They’re great for collecting newsletter subscriptions, signing someone up for a trial of your product, or otherwise allowing people to ask for more information from you.
Dynamic ads allow you to promote targeted products to the customers most likely to be interested in them.
For instance, if someone has visited a product page or placed a product in their shopping cart on your website, but then abandoned the purchase, dynamic ads for that precise product will appear in their Facebook feed.
Facebook Messenger ads give you access to the 1.3 billion people who use Messenger every month. When creating your ad, simply choose Messenger as the desired placement. You also need to select Facebook feed.
You can also run “click-to-Messenger” ads in the Facebook feed. These ads feature a call-to-action button that opens a Messenger conversation with your Facebook Page, so people can have a one-on-one conversation with one of your salespeople or customer service reps.
Scientific American found that 72% of millenials won’t rotate their phones to watch widescreen videos. Stories ads are a full-screen vertical video format that allow you to maximize screen real estate without expecting viewers to turn the screen. These ads have proven highly effective. A Facebook-commissioned Ipsos survey showed that more than half of people said they were making more online purchases because of Stories ads.
If you already have a Facebook business page (and you should), you can head straight to the Facebook Ads Manager or Business Manager to create your Facebook ad campaign. If you don’t yet have a business page, you’ll need to create one first.